The day you realize you don’t have to make sense to anyone is the day you start to make sense to you.Greg Behrendt
Over the past decade I have participated in a wonderful event known as NaNoWriMo (which stands for National Novel Writing Month). It happens every November, and is a month dedicated to writing. Or to be more specific, writing 50 000 words of a novel.
In recent years NaNoWriMo has changed it up a little so that you can now join even if you are writing non-fiction, or blog posts, or a musical. And you can join even if you don’t intend to write 50 000 words but instead just want to focus on your own project for a month, at whatever word rate or time increment works for you.
Last year was the first year I’d missed. We were deep in drought at the farm, there were bushfires everywhere, I was running a major residential Retreat that took up a good part of the month, launching a Planner onto Amazon and getting ready to go on an extended overseas trip on the 1st of December. I didn’t have the time or focus, so I stepped back, but gee, I missed it and I thought about it all month, even though I wasn’t writing.
This year? November is just around the corner. I have a gazillion things that are being completed for our membership site, and new products (the Planner, a Mala, some wonderful packs of treasures), and new courses coming online soon. It’s the busiest time of year for me, and my diary is crammed between now and Christmas! It’s simply a dumb time to be adding more stuff to my already full schedule.
But my story… (insert sniffing sound and use a sad voice! 😥)
When I was stuck in lockdown in Brisbane for months this year because of COVID, and all my incomplete story drafts and notebooks were at the farm (which I couldn’t get to because of a hard border closure), I pulled out a story outline that I’d long forgotten. It’s a two-page word document, saved to the cloud, that holds an idea that came to me after a dream one night. Lonely and with time on my hands, I decided to dust it off and play around with my notes. Little by little a story started coming together in my mind, and I played with the settings and characters on the page, getting to know them, and getting a feel for where this could go.
Paragraph by paragraph, line by line, I felt me coming back to myself. My energy returned, and my optimism. I had forgotten how much I love to write stories.
Then the border re-opened, I was re-united with my husband and dogs, and life moved on. No more lonely nights or empty weekends to fill. My beautiful new story was cast aside.
On the weekend I received an email about NaNoWriMo, and I realised that it’s almost that time of year again. I dropped a post in my online writers’ group, which you can see below:
Happily, other friends, as reckless and unsure as myself, decided it was a YES from them too. I’m all signed up. They’re all signed up. We all think ourselves a bit mad. It’s equally thrilling and a bit sick-making. But, I’ve learned over time, many of the best things feel like that.
It doesn’t make logical sense to say yes, but my soul says yes, my heart says yes, and my brain? My brain is just going to have to figure out how to make this work. Because sometimes you need to say yes to the crazy thing. Sustainable Madness is something I know how to do. Dare I say it, I find that it can even be something to look forward to. In a year that has been about supporting everyone else, this is a way I can support myself.
It’s nearly NaNoWriMo time.
How about you?
If you join up, (click here to join) let me know. You can add me as a buddy by searching for ncwriter – that’s me, the profile pic of the happy cow!
And of course, your crazy thing may not be NaNoWriMo. It might be Spanish lessons, or horseback riding, or a month of yoga! If you have something else planned for November, let us know if the comments below or over on Facebook.
There is NEVER a right time for so many things. If we waited, it would never get done. So, let’s get a little crazy in November and make stuff happen!
Love, endless words, notepads and coffee cups, Nicole xx